by Jimmy Lee King
There are a lot of questions about Santa Claus that need answering so I decided, since I’m now writing for a brand new paper, perhaps I should take matters into my own hands and see if I could get an interview with Mr Claus on Christmas Eve. I realized that I would have to stay up as late and not let my self fall asleep. I put on some of my favorite Christmas movies and sat on my couch in front of my Christmas tree and fireplace. My wife put out her famous homemade chocolate brownies and some cold milk in a thermos as she always does. To my knowledge Santa has never left as much as a crumb from one of those tasty, chocolate treats so I felt pretty confident that I couldn’t miss him and maybe, just maybe, he would answer my questions.
I’ll be honest when I say that around 3:00 AM I started to give up hope and thought about turning in; however as soon as I thought this I heard a rustle at the Christmas tree and somehow, without me detecting his entrance, Mr Claus was standing there with a large sack. He looked at me and smiled and said in a kind, low, baritone voice Merry Christmas, Jimmy. I sprung into action and said “Mr Claus, could I ask you a couple questions for our new paper” He looked at me with a puzzled look and said “I’m in a little bit of a rush but if you can ask me while I”m eating those brownies that your wife makes, I’ll be happy to.” I couldn’t believe he said yes, but he did.
I offered him a seat next to me on the couch and he sat down. Santa is a large man. He does not look fat or overweight, on the contrary he looks to be in great shape just very large all over. He’s very tall. I’m 6 feet tall and he was at least a foot taller than me. Santa also has a pleasant smell about him, which I will say reminded me of cookies baking. His boots were huge and awesome and the buckles were shiny and beautiful. He wore, leather gloves that he took off before he grabbed his first brownie which revealed a huge set of hands that looked like they had seen a lot of work in their time.
So there I was sitting with Santa Claus, I opened up my note book and fired off the first question.
JLK-What is the name you like to be called?
S-He chuckled and took a huge drink of milk after the first brownie and said, “I like to be called Santa in the USA, but I’m called by many names across the globe. Mrs. C calls me many names but she seems to have settled on Sandy for some reason. I think it’s sweet.” He grabbed the next brownie.
JLK- What is your age?
S- He laughed loudly this time and it vibrated my chest as well as the decorations on the Christmas tree. Then he answered “I lost count about a hundred years ago and just stopped worrying about it.” Grabbing another brownie and said, “It’s not the age you have to worry about, it’s the mileage and trust me I have a lot of mileage.” The living room shook again with another loud laugh as he grabbed the next brownie.
JLK- Why a red and white suit?
S- He smiled and his cheeks got big and round and said, “I like this question! My mother loved the color red, it was her favorite color. She taught me that the color red had magical properties and when put next to white the contrast makes it very powerful. Most of all I remember the first red and white Christmas suit she made for me when I was probably about 17 and I felt more proud wearing that suit than any moment in my life up to that point, I’ll never forget that. Every time I put on the red and white suit my first thought is to remember my mother and the first time I wore the suit. It keeps her close to me.”
JLK- So what magic does the color red have?
S-He grabbed his thick, white whiskers and said, “It’s magic in that it makes people smile and that’s a very, powerful magic indeed.”
JLK- So how do you get across the world to deliver all the presents in one night?
S-He laughed loudly again and then took another big bite of a brownie then he looked at me and said, “This question requires an answer that is hard to understand in the typical confines of science and physics that most people are familiar with. The easiest way for you to understand is to think of it as that I have the ability to slow time like slowing down a bicycle by applying the breaks. I can’t stop time but I can make a minute last for hours if I need to. When I slow time down it does not affect anyone and no one would ever know. Which is why it’s one of the most powerful tools I use. It’s not as much magic as it is the ability to understand time itself and that is a lesson we don’t have enough brownies and milk for.” Again he laughed hard and shook the floor feeling proud of his answer.
JLK- What’s your biggest challenge on Christmas Eve?
S- The children who don’t sleep make it challenging. I sometimes have to circle back to some homes a couple times because some children aren’t asleep. It would really be helpful if the children would go to sleep around 9 PM to 9:30 PM and let me do my work. You see my head reindeer can hear when children aren’t asleep, it’s one of their jobs and if the children are awake we just keep on flying. I get it though, aren’t we all excited on Christmas Eve? I still get excited too!”, he chuckled.
JLK-Why live in the North Pole?
S- He repositioned himself on the couch and said, “I like to sleep! I get a lot of darkness at the North Pole so I can get lots of sleep. My entire team loves the cold conditions and privacy. Can you imagine us trying to run our business in say, Miami?” He laughed and said, “We would never get anything done because of the interruptions. It takes my team all year to make the billions of presents that are made so the North Pole is where we will stay. The land has also been in my family since the beginning and it’s the only place I know as home. Not a great home for most but perfect for the team and me. The Mrs. would like Miami though.” He laughed again.
JLK- What inspires you to do what you do?
S- He inhaled big and said, “I’m at a place where I’m inspired by the emphasis placed on people celebrating with each other at least one time a year. Children and adults of all ages feel a willingness to be together and remember they love each other for the most basic of reasons. People stop what they’re doing and make time to have dinner together or give each other a gift, which is a token of their appreciation for one another. The gifts under the tree here in the USA for kids on Christmas morning are not the most important part of Christmas and it never has been the most important part but it’s still fun for many children and adults and you know. It keeps my team at the Pole, the reindeer and myself, young and we can use all the help we can get.” As he again laughed with the sound of thunder and put his large hand on my shoulder for just a brief second as to make sure I was laughing with him, which I was, sincerely. Santa then said “One last brownie and one last question, I still have the entire southern hemisphere to go and that’s a long flight in weather that’s not so good.”
JLK- How long would like to continue doing what you do?
S- He swallowed the last brownie whole and had the last bit of milk, wiped his mouth off and began to slide on his gloves as he said with a smile on his face, “As long as the world believes in me, I’ll be there every year. There is no greater honor than to be Sandy, I mean Santa.” and then he said, “Merry Christmas to you, keep up the good work and maybe, if the weather is good and there are brownies here again next year, we can talk more.”
I said I would love to talk more and before I could blink my eyes, he was gone. I looked at the clock and it was now 4:22 AM. Almost an hour and a half had passed but it felt that he couldn’t have been here any longer than 10 minutes. I would have loved to have asked the large man in the red suit many more questions but I felt fortunate for him taking to talk to me as long as he did, considering it was the biggest night of the year for him. I will be waiting for him next Christmas Eve with a bigger plate of brownies and more milk next time. I feel extremely fortunate every day of my life but Christmas provides a great reason to focus on all the family and freinds that are most important. I hope everyone celebrates in their own way and has an amazing holiday.
Jimmy Lee King